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Frederic Logghe
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Admiral Ainsley (16??-1731)

Ainsley was an Irish pirate.

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Thomas Anstis (16??-1723?)

Thomas Anstis (d. 1723) was an early 18th century pirate, who served under Captain Howell Davis and then Captain Bartholomew Roberts, before setting up on his own account, raiding shipping on the eastern coast of the American colonies and in the Caribbean during what is often referred to as the "Golden Age of Piracy".

Anstis is first recorded as a member of the sloop Buck, which sailed from Providence, Rhode Island in 1718. Sometime during the course of the voyage, Anstis conspired with six other crew members to attempt a mutiny aboard the ship which, upon doing so, stated their intentions to sail southward as pirates. Howell Davis was elected captain. After Davis' death Bartholomew Roberts replaced him as captain, and eventually had several ships. Anstis commanded one of these, the Good Fortune.

In May 1721, Roberts' ships headed for Africa, but Anstis and his crew in the Good Fortune slipped away in the night and continued to operate in the Caribbean.

Continuing onward towards Bermuda, Anstis spotted a treasure ship out from Guinea heading towards the Carolinas, the HMS Morning Star. After its capture, the ship was outfitted with 32 guns and placed in the command of ships gunner John Fenn. The two ships continued to sail along the southeastern coast of the colonies until fighting began to break out among much of the impressed crew members (including those from the Buck Sloop) and was decided among them to send a request for a pardon from George I of Great Britain claiming they had been impressed by Anstis and Roberts.

Sailing to an island off the coast of Cuba, the crew awaited a reply from the British government for nine months until August 1722, when they set sail once again as their pleas were ignored. After their arrival at the Grand Caymans, the Morning Star ran aground and, as the survivors were being rescued by the Buck Sloop, the pirates were sighted by the HMS Hector and the HMS Adventure and began pursuit. As Anstis ordered a retreat, outgunned and facing a gale, he was forced to abandon the ship and fled to a nearby island.

Followed by the Hector, forty of Anstis's crew were quickly captured (many of those claiming to have sent the petition) however Anstis was able to escape in a brigantine. After arriving at the Bay of Honduras with Fenn, Anstis refitted his ship and sailed for the Bahama Islands in December 1722. Capturing an Irish sloop, the Antelope, it was taken to Tortuga where it was outfitted as a privateer in April 1723.

While in port, Anstis was surprised by the British man-of-war HMS Winchelsea and was forced to burn his ship and fled with his crew into the islands interior. Although again escaping his pursuers, Anstis was killed as he slept in his hammock before he could resume his career of piracy. Although most of the crew who surrendered to Dutch authorities in Curaçao received amnesty, Fenn and the remaining crew were eventually captured and executed by British authorities. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Black Bart [Bartholomew Roberts] (c. 1682-1722)


Bartholomew Roberts born John Robert (May 17, 1682 - February 10, 1722), also known as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), was a Welsh pirate who raided shipping off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the golden age of piracy, capturing far more ships than some of the best-known pirates of this era such as Blackbeard or Captain Kidd. He is estimated to have captured over 470 vessels.

Roberts was born in 1682 in the village of Casnewydd-Bach, (Little Newcastle), between Fishguard and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales. His name was originally John Roberts, and his father is thought to have been George Roberts. It is unknown why he changed his name from John to Bartholomew. He apparently went to sea at the age of 13 in 1695 but there is no further record of him until 1718, when he was mate of a Barbados sloop. In 1719 he was third mate aboard the slave ship Princess of London, under Captain Abraham Plumb. In early June that year the Princess was anchored at Anomabu, then spelled Annamaboa, which is situated along the Gold Coast of West Africa (present-day Ghana), when she was captured by pirates. The pirates were in two ships, the Royal Rover and the Royal James, and were led by captain Howell Davis. Davis, like Roberts, was a Pembrokeshire man, originally from Milford Haven. Several of the crew of the Princess of London were forced to join the pirates, including Roberts. Davis quickly discovered Roberts' abilities as a navigator and took to consulting him. Roberts is said to have initially been reluctant to become a pirate, but soon came to see the advantages of his new life. Johnson reports him as saying: In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labour. In this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power; and who would not balance creditor on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst is only a sour look or two at choking? No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto.

It is easy to understand the lure of piracy; Roberts' wage was less than £3 per month and he had no chance of promotion to captaincy in the merchant navy.

A few weeks later the Royal James had to be abandoned because of worm damage. The Royal Rover headed for the Isle of Princes, now Príncipe. Davis hoisted the flags of a British man-of-war, and was allowed to enter the harbour. After a few days Davis invited the governor to lunch on board his ship, intending to hold him hostage for a ransom. As Davis had to send boats to collect the governor, he was invited to call at the fort for a glass of wine first. The Portuguese had by now discovered that their visitors were pirates, and on the way to the fort Davis' party were ambushed and Davis himself shot dead.

A new captain now had to be elected. Davis' crew was divided into "Lords" and "Commons", and it was the "Lords" who had the right to propose a name to the remainder of the crew. Within six weeks of his capture, Roberts was elected captain. This was an unusual move since he was openly against his even being on board the vessel, and was probably due to his navigational abilities and his demeanor, which history reflects was outspoken and opinionated. According to Johnson: He accepted of the Honour, saying, that since he had dipp'd his Hands in Muddy Water, and must be a Pyrate, it was better being a Commander than a common Man.

His first act as captain was to lead the crew back to Príncipe to avenge the death of Captain Davis. Roberts and his crew sprang onto the island in the darkness of night, killed a large portion of the male population, and stole all items of value that they could carry away. Soon afterwards he captured a Dutch Guineaman, then two days later an English ship called the Experiment. While the ship took on water and provisions at Anamboe, a vote was taken on whether the next voyage should be to the East Indies or to Brazil. The vote was for Brazil.

The combination of bravery and success that marked this adventure cemented most of the crew's loyalty to Roberts. They concluded that he was "pistol proof" and that they had much to gain by staying with him.

Roberts and his crew crossed the Atlantic and watered and boot-topped their ship on the uninhabited island of Ferdinando. They then spent about nine weeks off the Brazilian coast, but saw no ships. They were about to leave for the West Indies when they encountered a fleet of 42 Portuguese ships in the Todos os Santos' Bay, waiting for two men-of-war of 70 guns each to escort them to Lisbon. Roberts took one of the vessels, and ordered her master to point out the richest ship in the fleet. He pointed out a ship of 40 guns and a crew of 170, which Roberts and his men boarded and captured. The ship proved to contain 40,000 gold moidors and jewelry including a cross set with diamonds, designed for the King of Portugal.

The Rover now headed for Devil's Island off the coast of Guiana to spend the booty. A few weeks later they headed for the River Surinam, where they captured a sloop. When a brigantine was sighted, Roberts took forty men to pursue it in the sloop, leaving Walter Kennedy in command of the Rover. The sloop became wind-bound for eight days, and when Roberts and his men were finally able to return, they discovered that Kennedy had sailed off with the Rover and what remained of the loot. Roberts and his crew renamed their sloop the Fortune and agreed new articles, which they swore on a Bible to uphold.

In late February 1720 they were joined by the French pirate Montigny la Palisse in another sloop, the Sea King. The inhabitants of Barbados equipped two well-armed ships, the Summerset and the Philipa, to try to put an end to the pirate menace. On 26 February they encountered the two pirate sloops. The Sea King quickly fled, and after sustaining considerable damage the Fortune broke off the engagement and was able to escape. Roberts headed for Dominica to repair the sloop, with twenty of his crew dying of their wounds on the voyage. There were also two sloops from Martinique out searching for the pirates, and Roberts swore vengeance against the inhabitants of Barbados and Martinique. He had a new flag made with a drawing of himself standing upon 2 skulls, one labelled ABH (A Barbadian's Head) and the other AMH (A Martiniquian's Head).

The Fortune now headed northwards towards Newfoundland. After capturing a number of ships around the Newfoundland banks Roberts raided the harbour of Ferryland, capturing a dozen vessels. On 21 June he attacked the larger harbour of Trepassey, sailing in with black flags flying. All the ships in the habour were abandoned by their panic-stricken captains and crews, and the pirates were masters of Trepassey without any resistance being offered. Roberts had captured 22 ships, but was angered by the cowardice of the captains who had fled their ships. Every morning when a gun was fired, the captains were forced to attend Roberts on board his ship; they were told that anyone who was absent would have his ship burnt. One brig from Bristol was taken over by the pirates to replace the sloop Fortune and fitted out with 16 guns. When the pirates left in late June, all the other vessels in the harbour were set on fire.During July Roberts captured nine or ten French ships and commandeered one of them, fitting her with 26 cannon and changing her name to the Good Fortune. With this more powerful ship, the pirates captured many more vessels before heading south for the West Indies, accompanied by Montigny la Palisse's sloop, which had rejoined them.

In September 1720 the Good Fortune was careened and repaired at the island of Carriacou before being renamed the Royal Fortune, the first of several ships to be given this name by Roberts. In late September the Royal Fortune and the Fortune headed for the island of St. Christopher's, and entered Basse Terra Road flying black flags and with their drummers and trumpeters playing. They sailed in among the ships in the Road, all of whom promptly struck their flags. The next landfall was at the island of St. Bartholomew, where the French governer allowed the pirates to remain for several weeks to carouse. By 25 October they were at sea again, off St. Lucia, where they captured up to 15 French and English ships in the next three days. Among the captured ships was the Greyhound, whose chief mate, James Skyrme, joined the pirates. He would later become captain of Roberts' consort, the Ranger.

In early April 1721 the pirates captured a French man of war and discovered that one of the passengers was the Governor of Martinique. Roberts had him hanged from the yardarm. By the spring of 1721, Roberts' depredations had almost brought sea-borne trade in the West Indies to a standstill.[23] The Royal Fortune and the Good Fortune therefore set sail for West Africa. On 20 April Thomas Anstis, the commander of the Good Fortune, left Roberts in the night and continued to raid shipping in the Caribbean. The Royal Fortune continued towards Africa.

By late April, Roberts was at the Cape Verde islands. The Royal Fortune was found to be leaky, and was abandoned here. The pirates transferred to the Sea King, which was renamed the Royal Fortune. The new Royal Fortune made landfall off the Guinea coast in early June, near the mouth of the Senegal River. Two French ships, one of 10 guns and one of 16 guns, gave chase, but were captured by Roberts. Both these ships were commandeered. One, the Comte de Toulouse was renamed the Ranger, while the other was named the Little Ranger and used as a storeship. Thomas Sutton was made captain of the Ranger and James Skyrme captain of the Little Ranger.

Roberts now headed for Sierra Leone, arriving on 12 June. Here he was told that two Royal Navy ships, H.M.S. Swallow and H.M.S. Weymouth, had left at the end of April, planning to return before Christmas. On 8 August he captured two large ships at Point Cestos, three hundred miles SE of Sierra Leone. One of these was the frigate Onslow, transporting soldiers bound for Cape Coast Castle. A number of the soldiers wished to join the pirates and were eventually accepted, but as landlubbers were given only a quarter share. The Onslow was converted to become the fourth Royal Fortune. In November and December the pirates careened their ships and relaxed at Cape Lopez and the island of Annabon. Sutton was replaced by Skyrme as captain of the Ranger. They captured several vessels in January 1722, then sailed into Ouidah harbour with black flags flying. All the eleven ships at anchor there immediately struck their colours.

On 5 February H.M.S. Swallow, commanded by Captain Chaloner Ogle, came upon the three pirate ships, the Royal Fortune, the Ranger and the Little Ranger careening at Cape Lopez. The Swallow veered away to avoid a sandbank, making the pirates think that she was a fleeing merchant ship. The Ranger, commanded by James Skyrme, departed in pursuit. Once out of earshot of the other pirates, the Swallow opened her gun ports and an engagement began. Ten of the pirates were killed and Skyrme had his leg taken off by a cannon ball, but refused to leave the deck. Eventually the Ranger was forced to strike her colours and the surviving crew were captured.

On 10 February the Swallow returned to Cape Lopez and found the Royal Fortune still there. The previous day Roberts had captured the Neptune, and many of his crew were drunk and unfit for duty just when he needed them most. The pirates at first thought that the approaching ship was the Ranger returning, but a deserter from the Swallow recognized her and informed the captain. Roberts was breakfasting in company with Captain Hill, the master of the Neptune, when he was given the news. As he usually did before action, he dressed himself in his finest clothes: Roberts himself made a gallant figure, at the time of the engagement, being dressed in a rich crimson damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in his hat, a gold chain round his neck, with a diamond cross hanging to it, a sword in his hand, and two pairs of pistols slung over his shoulders ...

The pirates' plan was to sail past the Swallow, which meant exposing themselves to one broadside. Once past, they would have a good chance of escaping. However the helmsman failed to keep the Royal Fortune on the right course, and the Swallow was able to approach to deliver a second broadside. Captain Roberts was killed by grapeshot cannon fire, which struck him in the throat, while he stood on the deck. Before his body could be captured by Ogle, Roberts' wish to be buried at sea was fulfilled by his crew, who weighted his body down and threw his body overboard.

The battle continued for another two hours, until the Royal Fortune's mainmast fell and the pirates signalled for quarter. One member of the crew, John Philips, tried to reach the magazine with a lighted match to blow up the ship, but was prevented by two forced men. Only three pirates, including Roberts, had been killed in the battle. A total of 272 men had been captured by the navy. Of these, 75 were black, and these were sold into slavery. The remainder, apart from those who died on the voyage back, were taken to Cape Coast Castle. 54 were condemned to death, of whom 52 were hanged and two reprieved. Another 20 were allowed to sign indentures with the Royal African Company; Burl comments that they "exchanged an immediate death for a lingering one". Seventeen men were sent to the Marshalsea prison in London for trial, while over a third of the total were acquitted and released.

Of the captured pirates who gave their place of birth, 42% were from Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and another 19% from London. There were smaller numbers from northern England and from Wales, and another quarter from a variety of countries including Ireland, Scotland, the West Indies, the Netherlands and Greece.

Captain Ogle was rewarded with a knighthood; the only British naval officer to be honoured specifically for his actions against pirates. He also profited financially, taking gold dust from Roberts' cabin, and eventually became an admiral. He missed out on the loot which the pirates had left on the Little Ranger when they sailed to their last engagement with the Swallow. By the time Ogle and his men arrived the loot had gone, and so had Captain Hill of the Neptune.

According to Cordingly, this battle was to prove a turning point in the war against the pirates. Cawthorne considers the death of Roberts to mark the end of the golden age of piracy, while Rediker comments: The defeat of Roberts and the subsequent eradication of piracy off the coast of Africa represented a turning point in the slave trade and even in the larger history of capitalism. (Source: Wikipedia)

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George Booth (16??-1700)

George Booth (c. 1710) was an English pirate who was one of the earliest active in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea during the late 17th century. Among his fleet included prominant captains such as Nathaniel North, Thomas Howard and his evenutal successor John Bowen.

Although his early life is largely unknown, he is first recorded in his career as a gunner aboard the Pelican around 1696, and later the Dolphin, both of which were operated in the Indian Ocean.

Trapped at Sainte-Marie Island by a British fleet in September 1699, the crew of the Dolphin were offered a pardon. Although some of the pirates surrendered, Booth was among those who escaped to nearby Madagascar after burning the Dolphin. He would later participate in the capture of a French merchant ship on the pretence of buying supplies carrying liqour and other goods in exchange for slaves and, elected by the crew as captain, they continued onward to Madagascar.

Booth later encountered fellow British pirate John Bowen and, choosing to join forces, they later captured the Speaker, a 450 ton slaver carrying 50 guns, near Majunga in April 1704. As captain of the newly captured prize, Booth eventually sailed towards Zanzibar and arrived towards the end of 1710. While going ashore for provisions, Booth and Bowen were attacked by Arab troops and Booth was killed in the fighting. After the death of Booth, Bowen was voted by the crew to replace Booth as captain of the small fleet. (Source: Wikipedia)

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John Bowen (16??-1704)

John Bowen was an English pirate.

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Black Bellamy [Samuel Bellamy] (16??-1717)

Samuel Bellamy (c.1689 – April 27, 1717), aka "Black Sam" Bellamy, was a formidable pirate in the early eighteenth century.

Though his career as a pirate captain lasted less than a year, Bellamy and his crew captured more than 50 ships before his death at age 29. Called "Black Sam" because he eschewed the fashionable powdered wig in favor of tying back his long black hair with a simple band, Bellamy became known for his mercy and generosity toward those he captured on his raids. This reputation gained him the second nickname of the "Prince of Pirates," and his crew called themselves "Robin Hood's Band."

Born in England, possibly Devonshire, Bellamy became a sailor at a young age and travelled to Cape Cod, where he took up residence with a local girl named Maria Hallett. He soon left Cape Cod to support Hallett by salvaging treasure from ships sunk off the coast of Florida, accompanied by his friend and financier Paul Williams. The treasure hunters apparently met with little success, as they soon turned to piracy in the crew of pirate captain Benjamin Hornigold, who commanded the Mary Anne (or Marianne) with his fellow pirate captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach.

In the summer of 1716, Hornigold was deposed as captain of the Mary Anne and Bellamy took his place. Upon capturing a second ship, the Sultana, Bellamy assigned his friend Paul Williams as captain of the Mary Anne and made the Sultana his flagship. However, Bellamy's greatest capture was to come in the spring of 1717, when he and his crew chased down and boarded the Whydah Gally. The Whydah, a 300-ton slave ship, had just finished the second leg of the Atlantic slave trade and was loaded with a fortune in gold and precious trade goods. True to his reputation for generosity, Bellamy gave the Sultana to the captain of the captured Whydah, and, outfitting his new flagship as a 28-gun raiding vessel, set sail northwards along the eastern coast of New England.

If Bellamy's intention in sailing northwards was to meet again with his lover Maria Hallett, or if it was for some other reason, he never accomplished his goal. The Whydah was swept up in a violent storm near Wellfleet, Massachusetts and driven onto a sandbar where it quickly sunk, taking Bellamy and all but two of his 146-man crew with her.

In 1984, Bellamy became famous again when the wreckage of the Whydah was finally discovered, the first confirmed pirate ship recovered in modern times. At the time of its sinking, the Whydah was the largest pirate prize ever captured, and the treasure in its hold included huge quantities of indigo, ivory, gold, and over 30,000 pounds sterling. The discovery of the wreck was made in July of 1984 by a diving crew led and funded by treasure hunter Barry Clifford. Clifford subsequently founded a museum on the shore of Provincetown, Massachusetts dedicated to Samuel Bellamy and the Whydah. It houses many artifacts which were brought from the actual wreck, including the ship's bell. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Blackbeard [Edward Teach] (c. 16??-1718)


Blackbeard (c. 1680 – November 22, 1718) was the nickname of Edward Teach, alias Edward Thatch (one source gives his name as Edward Drummond), a notorious English pirate who had a short reign of terror in the Caribbean Sea between 1716 and 1718, during a period of time referred to as the Golden Age of Piracy. His best known vessel was the Queen Anne's Revenge, which is believed by some to have run aground near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina in 1718.

Some accounts claim that he had as many as fourteen wives, most of them common-law, but documentation is lacking. His last wife was Mary Ormond (or Ormand) of Bath, North Carolina, to whom he was only married for a short while. A painting of him hangs in Van Der Veer House (ce. 1790), in Bath.

Blackbeard often fought with, or simply showed himself wearing, multiple swords, knives, and pistols, and it was said that he had hemp and lighted matches woven into his enormous black beard during battle. This image, which he cultivated, has made him the premier image of the seafaring pirate.

Blackbeard is thought to have been born in Bristol, England. He went to sea at an early age and apparently was a privateer before turning pirate. According to the French governor of the island, "Edoard Titche" commanded two boats of British pirates, one of twelve and the other of eight guns, with 250 men. Le Concorde de Nantes was a prize: a two-hundred-ton frigate armed with twenty cannons, which had ranged the west coast of Africa, taking Dutch and Portuguese ships. Teach armed it with an additional twenty guns (bringing total cannons to forty) and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge.

Teach originally served as a pirate under Benjamin Hornigold. In 1717, Hornigold retired, taking advantage of an amnesty extended to privateers by the British government.

In the following two years, Teach acquired a fearsome reputation for cruelty after repeatedly preying on shipping and coastal settlements of the West Indies and the Atlantic coast of North America. A running duel with the British thirty-gunned man-of-war HMS Scarborough added to his notoriety.

He would raid merchant ships, coming up on them in major channels and forcing them to allow him and his crew to board their ship. Teach and his men would take all of the valuables, food, liquor, and weapons from the ship. Curiously, despite his ferocious reputation, there are no verified accounts of his ever actually having killed anyone.

Teach kept headquarters in both the Bahamas and the Carolinas. He lived on the island of Nassau where he was named the magistrate of the "Privateers Republic". The Governor Charles Eden of North Carolina received booty from Teach in return for unofficial protection and gave him an official pardon. He was forced to leave Nassau by Royal Governor Woodes Rogers when the island was raided and all pirate occupants were either killed or driven out.

Although Teach had apparently retired, Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia became concerned that this purported former pirate was settled in the region. Spotswood sent troops to hunt Teach down. It is questionable as to whether Spotswood had the jurisdiction to do so.

Blackbeard operated in littoral waters; it was difficult for ships of the line to engage him in battle. As such, two smaller hired sloops were therefore put under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard, with instructions from Spotswood to hunt down and destroy Blackbeard, offering a reward of £100, and smaller sums for the lesser crew members. Maynard sailed from James River on November 12, 1718, in command of thirty men from HMS Pearl, and twenty-five men and a midshipman of the HMS Lyme, and in command of the hired sloops, the Ranger and Jane (temporarily commissioned as His Majesty's Ships to avoid accusations of piracy themselves), and found the pirates in a North Carolina inlet anchored on the inner side of Ocracoke Island, on the evening of November 21. Maynard and his men decided to wait until the following morning because the tide would be more favourable. Blackbeard's Adventure had a crew of only nineteen, "Thirteen white and six Negroes", as reported to the Admiralty.

A small boat was sent ahead at daybreak, was fired upon, and quickly retreated. Blackbeard's superior knowledge of the inlet was of much help, although he and his crew had been drinking in his cabin the night prior. Throughout the night Blackbeard waited for Maynard to make his move. Blackbeard cut his anchor cable and quickly attempted to move towards a narrow channel. Maynard made chase; however his sloops ran aground, and there was a shouted exchange between captains.

Maynard's account says, "At our first salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he stil'd Cowardly Puppies, saying, He would neither give nor take Quarter", although many different versions of the dialogue exist. Eventually, Maynard's sloops were able to float freely again, and he began to row towards Blackbeard, since the wind was not strong enough at the time for setting sail. When they came upon Blackbeard's Adventure, they were hit with a devastating broadside attack. Midshipman Hyde, captain of the smaller HMS Jane, was killed along with six other men. Ten men were also wounded in the surprise attack. The sloop fell astern and was little help in the following action. Maynard continued his pursuit in HMS Ranger, managing to blast the Adventure's rigging, forcing it ashore. Maynard ordered many of his crew into the holds and readied to be boarded. As his ship approached, Blackbeard saw the mostly empty decks, assumed it was safe to board, and did so with ten men.

Maynard's men emerged, and the battle began. The most complete account of the following events comes from the Boston News Letter: "Maynard and Teach themselves begun the fight with their swords, Maynard making a thrust, the point of his sword against Teach's cartridge box, and bent it to the hilt. Teach broke the guard of it, and wounded Maynard's fingers but did not disable him, whereupon he jumped back and threw away his sword and fired his pistol which wounded Teach. Demelt struck in between them with his sword and cut Teach's face pretty much; in the interim both companies engaged in Maynard's sloop, one of Maynard's men being a Highlander, engaged Teach with his broad sword, who gave Teach a cut on the neck, Teach saying well done lad; the Highlander replied, If it be not well done, I'll do it better. With that he gave him a second stroke, which cut off his head, laying it flat on his shoulder."

Despite the best efforts of the pirates (including a desperate plan to blow up the Adventure), Teach was killed, and the battle ended. Teach was reportedly shot five times and stabbed more than twenty times before he died and was decapitated. Such was the mythical status of the man. Legends about his death immediately sprang up, including the oft-repeated claim that Teach's headless body, after being thrown overboard, swam between 2 and 7 times around the Adventure before sinking. Teach's head was placed as a trophy on the bowsprit of the ship (it was also required by Maynard to claim his prize when he returned home). Later, it hung from a pike in Bath, and, according to legend, was eventually taken down and turned into the base of a punch bowl. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Major Stede Bonnet (1689-1718)

Major Stede Bonnet, the "gentleman pirate," was one of the most interesting but least successful sea pirates. Much of his brief, disastrous career as a pirate is disputed.

Stede Bonnet was an educated land owner in Barbados, owning a profitable sugar plantation near Bridgetown. In 1717 (well into his middle-age) Bonnet decided, for reasons unknown, to become a pirate. This unheard-of move, which scandalized Bridgetown's polite society, was one for which Bonnet's mannered upbringing had poorly prepared him. Other than a few government backed privateers, all pirates had either stolen their ships or obtained them by mutiny, but Bonnet bought his legally. He named the ten-gun vessel Revenge and hired about seventy sailors on salary.

Bonnet enjoyed some modest success taking vessels off Virginia and the Carolinas, despite his total lack of experience at sea. Off Carolina, he came upon Edward Teach (Blackbeard). Teach took a liking to Bonnet, invited him on his ship (Queen Anne's Revenge), then took Bonnet's ship. Bonnet is said to have been content aboard Teach's ship, reading and wandering the decks.

Likely as a spectator, Bonnet was with Teach for a siege of Charleston, South Carolina. Teach decided to seek a pardon at that time, and Bonnet (who would have been hanged too had they been caught) hoped to be pardoned at the same time.

Teach then conned Bonnet out of his share of the bounty and left under mysterious circumstances. Rather than take a pardon, Bonnet set off after Teach, but was unsuccessful. Returning to piracy, Bonnet again managed to fare remarkably well given his abilities. Almost by accident, he was captured by William Rhett. Rhett had been sent after other pirates that had been working near Charleston.

Bonnet and his crew were tried and most sentenced to death. His previous participation in piracy and particularly the siege sealed his fate. Despite a long and supposedly quite moving letter to the Governor begging for clemency, Bonnet was hanged in December of 1718.

The Flag of Stede Bonnet is known as "The Pirates Scale." It represents the balance between life and battle. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Anne Bonny [Anne Cormac] (c. 1697-1782)


Anne Bonny (1698 – 1782) was an Irish Pirate who sailed throughout the Caribbean. Much of what is known about Anne Bonny is based on Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates. Official records and contemporary letters dealing with her life are scarce. Various sources disagree about her birth year, but it was probably between 1697 and 1705. Anne Bonny, born in County Cork, Ireland, was a daughter of attorney William Cormac and his maidservant. Her mother was named either Mary or Peg Brennan. When the affair became public Cormac, with his new wife and newborn child, left Ireland for Charleston, South Carolina, where he made a fortune and bought a large plantation.

The few records of Bonny which exist seem to reflect that she was intelligent, quick tempered, and pretty in her appearance. When Anne was thirteen, she had supposedly stabbed a servant girl in the belly with a table knife, although it is unclear whether the event is based on fact or is purely legend. At sixteen, Anne married a sailor and small-time pirate named James Bonny. James Bonny hoped to win possession of his wife's family estate, but Anne was disowned by her father.

According to legend, Anne started a fire on the plantation in retaliation against her father's decision. James Bonny then took his new bride to New Providence (modern-day Nassau), Bahamas, a pirate hub and base for many pirate operations, where he became an informant for Governor Woodes Rogers.

While in the Bahamas, Anne Bonny began mingling with pirates at the local drinking establishments, and met the pirate "Calico Jack" Rackham, with whom she shortly thereafter became involved in an affair. Rackham offered to buy Anne from James Bonny in a divorce-by-purchase, but James refused. He complained to the governor, who sentenced Anne to be flogged and to return to her legal husband. Anne Bonny and Rackham instead eloped together.

Legend tells that because of a superstition of the time that women aboard ships brought bad luck, Bonny was forced to disguise herself as a man in order to join Rackham's crew aboard the Revenge. Anne and Jack stole a ship at anchor in the harbor and set off to sea, putting together a crew and taking several prizes. She took part in combat alongside the males. Also according to legend, she stabbed another pirate through the heart when he discovered her true sex.

However, according to a recent History Channel documentary, True Caribbean Pirates, which aired July 9th, 2006, Bonny never hid her identity, and was well-known by the other pirates, having mingled with them socially, and she was readily accepted as a crew member.

Over the next three years or more, she and Rackham saw quite a few successes as pirates, capturing many ships, and bringing in an abundance of treasure. Although Bonny would become one of the best-known pirates in history, she never commanded a ship of her own, nor was she ever the deciding factor as to what ships they attacked. It is likely that her reputation as being a female pirate would be what would eventually lead to her fame. However, she was by all accounts competent, good in combat, and respected within pirate ranks.

In October of 1720, Rackham and his crew were attacked by a sloop captained by Jonathan Barnet, who was working for the governor of Jamaica. Most of Rackham's pirates did not put up much resistance as many of them were too drunk to fight. However, Read and Bonny, who were sober, fought fiercely and managed to hold off Barnet's troops for a short time. After their capture, Rackham and his crew were sentenced by the Governor of Jamaica to be hanged. Jack hid while the pregnant (and recently proved) ladies dealt with a great number of captors. Bonny is reported to have chastised the imprisoned Rackham (who wanted to see her one last time) by saying, "I am sorry to see you there, but if you had fought like a man, you need not be hanged like a dog."

After their arrest and trial, Read and Bonny announced during the sentencing phase that they were both pregnant. According to the latest information recently released by The History Channel, both were in fact pregnant, although there is no mention as to who the father of either child was. Both women received a temporary stay of execution until they gave birth. Mary Read soon died in prison most likely from a fever, but also it has been alleged she died during childbirth.

Bonny disappeared from the historic record while in prison. There is no record of her release or of her execution. This is somewhat unusual and has led some to theorise that her father ransomed her and gave her an opportunity to begin a new life. Other sources claim that she returned to her husband, or even that she resumed a life of piracy under a new identity. The latter is very unlikely, as a female pirate would have been something of which to take notice. The most accepted scenario is the first, that her wealthy father paid a ransom for her release.

Anne Bonny died in South Carolina at the age of eighty-four and was buried on 25 April 1782. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Nicholas Brown (16??-1726)

Nicholas Brown (d. 1726) was an English pirate who was active of the coast of Jamaica during the early 18th century. Although accepting a royal pardon, he continued raiding shipping until his capture by pirate hunter and childhood friend Captain John Drudge. He eventually died of wounds during his capture and, following his death, Drudge had Brown's body decapitated and his head pickled for which he would use to collect his reward. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Dirk Chivers (16??-17??)

Dirk Chivers was a Dutch pirate active in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean during the 1690s.

Dirk Chivers is first recorded as a crew member of the Portsmouth Adventure, a privateering ship bound for the Red Sea, under Captain Joseph Farrell in early 1694. Soon leaving Rhode Island, Chivers soon saw action as Farrell and Henry Every successfuly captured two ships sometime around June 1695. On its return voyage to Rhode Island, the ship ran agound on Mayotte in the Comoro Islands and chose to stay behind with several others while Farrell and the others continued on with Every.

Chivers eventually signed aboard the 28-gun Resolution after being picked by by Captain Robert Glover near the end of the year. After several months in the Red Sea however, Chivers took part in a mutiny against Glover and put he and his 24 supporters pirate into the recently captured Arab ship Rajapura. Elected captain by the crew after the munitny, he had the ship renamed the Soldado which, during the next year, was successful in capturing a number of valuble prizes before joining up with privateer John Hoar.

Together they captured, and subsequently ransomed, two East India Company ships. However, the ships were burned when the governor of Aden refused to pay the ransom. One of the captured sailors, a Captain Sawbridge, was said to have had his lips sown shut with a sail neadle in responce to his constant complaining according to popular lore.

Sailed with four captured prizes into the harbour of Calcutta in November 1696, where they demanded a ransom of £10,000 for their release sending a message to the governor stating "We acknowledge no country, having sold our own, and as we are sure to be hanged if taken, we shall have no scruple in murdering and destroying if our demands are not granted in full."

The governor of Calcutta disregarded their threats and sent out ten ships against the privateers and, as they appeared in the harbor, Chivers and Hoar fled without their prizes and made their way to Saint Mary's Island for repairs arriving in the summer of 1697 where the two parted company as Hoar sailed for the Red Sea.

In April 1698, Chivers captured an English ship, the Sedgwick, whose captain was allowed to keep his ship after agreeing to supply his crew with rum.

In September, Chivers joined up with Robert Culiford (who had recently left William Kidd) and Nathaniel North who together captured the Great Mohammed along with £130,000. Taking command of his new prize, the ship was renamed the New Soldado (or the Soldado II) and returned to Saint Mary's Island.

The following year however, Chivers was forced to sink the New Soldado to block the harbor passage of Saint Mary's with the appearance of four British battleships in September 1699. Despite his efforts, he and Culiford eventually accepted a royal pardon and returned to the Netherlands on the merchantman Vine. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Thomas Cocklyn (16??-17??)

Thomas Cocklyn was an 18th century English pirate, known primarily for his association and partnership with Howell Davis and Oliver La Buze, was reportedly elected captain "due to his brutality and ignorance" when first sailing from New Providence in 1717. On April 1, 1719, Cocklyn was a participant in the capture of the West African bound English slave ship the Bird Galley at the mouth of the Sierra Leone River, Cocklyn celebrated their victory with the two pirate captains onboard the ship for nearly a month before releasing its captain, a William Snelgrave, and giving him the Bristol Snow and the remaining cargo left from the pirates week long occupation of the ship.

Due to disagreements between the captains, the three parted ways on May 10, 1719. Subsequently, records of Cocklyn's career and later life after 1719 are undocumented. (Source: Wikipedia)

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48 albums on 4 page(s) 1

Last additions - Period 1690-1730: Golden Age of Piracy
Calico Jack [Jack Rackham] (16??-1720)885 viewsJan 03, 2007
Mary Read (c. 1685-1721)788 viewsJan 03, 2007
Woodes Rogers (c. 1679-1732)782 viewsJan 03, 2007
Edward Lowe (1690-1724?)758 viewsJan 03, 2007
Edward Lowe (1690-1724?)739 viewsJan 03, 2007
Howell Davis [Hywel Davies] (16??-1719)763 viewsJan 03, 2007
Howell Davis [Hywel Davies] (16??-1719)769 viewsJan 03, 2007
Capt. Miguel Henriquez (c.1680-17??)352 viewsJan 03, 2007

(c) 2009 Frederic Logghe GNU Free Documentation License Birds in the sky
They look so high
This is my perfect day